Are you working from home? The space you spend your work days in is more important than you think, setting the tone for your mood and productivity levels every single day. Here are some tips on how to improve your home office space, and optimise it so that you are putting your best foot forward when you work.
1. Keep Your Work Space Minimalist
When you decorate your workspace with minimalism, it gives you a blank slate on which to pursue all of your creative endeavours. Since cleanliness of the space eliminates clutter and stress of the mind, it is important to have a space that is organised and tidy, with room to create. Minimalism does not mean sacrificing the design style you personally gravitate towards, but instead incorporating that design style in a way that is simple, refined, and not busy or distracting as to take you out of your work.
2. Select a Colour Theme
Selecting one colour or colour palette for the theme of your workspace ensures that the entire room is cohesive, and looks stylish with little effort. When your space has pops of a colour that you like, it's more fun, and you will actually want to spend time in the space, making it more enjoyable to work in. A colour theme also allows you to create interest in your space without crowding it with too much decor, so it can still be minimal, organised, and clean.
3. Prioritise Natural Lighting
Natural lighting may be the most important feature in a home office, since the artificial lights that are so common in office buildings and on screens cause so much harm by tampering with your natural circadian rhythm. Better sleep makes for a happier and better work day, so it is essential that you avoid this. While the lights from screens oftentimes cannot be avoided, try to plan your office space to be next to a window instead of relying on overhead lighting. You might just find that like many others, when you work under natural lighting, you experience less headaches, better vitamin D levels, reduced eye strain, and less drowsiness – making fewer mistakes and feeling a lot calmer and more productive throughout the day.
4. Choose Ergonomic Furniture
Through studying people in their working environments, ergonomists design and modify the work space to fit the worker, not the other way around. Designers use ergonomics to shape furniture to your body, so you can be more comfortable while working, and genuinely enjoy the time you spend in your office. When you switch to ergonomic furniture, your general mood and productivity levels are improved exponentially, because all of the energy usually spent trying to adjust yourself to fit your workspace is now free for you to channel into working and actually enjoying the moments that constitute your days. Whether it be an ergonomic chair, or an adjustable standing desk, ergonomic furniture makes a real difference that is worth the investment in the long run.
5. Fill Your Space With Things You Love
While minimalism is important for a clear mind to be able to focus, adding some things you love to your space will make it feel more comfortable and remind you of what you are working for. Photos of loved ones, souvenirs from trips, and your favourite tchotchkes can be the perfect items to keep you happy and motivated while working. Being surrounded by your favourite things will allow you to associate those positive emotions with work, so you are more fulfilled while working in your space.
6. Eliminate Distractions
There are more distractions today than ever before, so it is extremely important to keep them at bay so as to not infringe on your productivity and focused mindset. Keeping a minimalist workspace as mentioned before is one way to remove a lot of things that could be distracting you, such as clutter, but many of the threats will come from your devices themselves. Keeping your phone somewhere out of your direct line of sight is one way to stop constant thoughts about checking it every time you see it. In addition, to keep separation between work and home, it can be helpful to only use your devices for work purposes when in your work space. Keeping work and leisure activities in their designated areas will help your mind to keep those instincts separate, so you are not tempted to be distracted while working.
7. Use Smart Storage Solutions
With the amount of things that you own and use in a day, it can be difficult to maintain a minimalist space. In order to keep your desk clear so that you have room to work, finding solutions to organise your things is very important. After first taking inventory and removing anything that you won’t actually be using in your office, buying a file cabinet or a storage contraption to keep order of your things stylishly will lead to a more organised space, and subsequently a more organised mind.
8. Tidy Up Your Cables
The average worker uses multiple devices during a work day, and each one comes with myriad cables. Tangled cables make for a disorganised and messy space, and the time spent rifling through them every day subtracts directly from the time you could be spending being productive. Find a solution to tangled cables by labelling them according to the devices they belong to, and either investing in a cable organiser, or some useful zip ties, wraps, or fasteners to keep them in place.
9. Experiment With Scents
Smell is a sense that is often overlooked, but actually contributes a lot to the experience of living every day. By choosing a nice scent that you enjoy to fill your office space with, you will not only have a space that you enjoy spending time in, but your mind will associate that smell with work, and will help to keep you focused when you are in it. Experimenting with aromatherapy could also help you address any specific concerns you have while working. Stressed beyond a productive level? Try some lemongrass oil. Having trouble keeping track of important details? Peppermint oil boosts memory. This crafty tool for your workspace has a solution to any problem, and you will have fun while figuring it out.
10. Add Plants
Plants are a wonderful way to bring some nature inside of your office, reducing stress and providing tangible benefits to your day. A study from the University of Technology in Sydney found that plants in the office significantly reduced stress levels of workers by 58%. Plants increase productivity, as well as clean the air through photosynthesis, converting the carbon dioxide humans produce back into clean oxygen. Who wouldn’t want to work in a space where you are more relaxed, productive, and breathing in clean air? The decorative potential of plants should not be discounted either.